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Pre-Season: Hawks take two from Hiroshima

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Pre-Season: Hawks take two from Hiroshima

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Sure, it's only pre-season, but it's fun to see your team play well. The Hawks pitching in the course of two games was exemplary, as they got some great first spring appearances out of some guys who will be counted on to contribute.

In the first exhibition game between the Hawks and Hiroshima Carp, the home team eked out a 1-0 win. Surprisingly, only three pitchers were used: Hiroki Yamada, who started the game, Sho Iwasaki, and Masahiko Morifuku. Both Yamada and Iwasaki went four innings, but of the two, the latter looked like a polar opposite of last season.

Iwasaki attacked the strike zone and had four strikeouts and no walks to go with a hit batsman on the day, but he also gave up four hits.

Yamada seemed to pitch to contact more, as he gave up just two hits while walking one and striking out two. He also took fewer pitches: 45 compared to Iwasaki's 57. No matter, the results on the scoreboard were the same: no runs. Morifuku continued the trend with a scoreless 9th for the save.

The only run of the game came in the 3rd off Hiroshima's own southpaw, the less-famous Yuki Saitoh. Matsuda led off the inning with a single and stole second before being driven in by Hosokawa, who went 2-for-3 on the day.

In the second game, the Hawks once again came out ahead on the scoreboard, but with a little more offense this time. In using twice as many pitchers as the previous day, the Hawks still held the line in the 4-2 victory.

Sugiuchi and Wada both took the mound for two innings. Wada started and was perfect with a strikeout, while Sugiuchi gave up one run on a home run to Chad Tracy. The rest of the day was smooth sailing for the Hawks ace, as he struck out three and gave up two hits.

Anthony Lerew and Soichi Fujita both made their Hawks debuts today as well, and they also pitched well. Lerew gave up two hits and struck out one in two innings, while Fujita, Japan's all-time appearances leader, worked a perfect inning.

The Carp pitching was mostly dominated by foreigners, but it was foreign acquisition of the Hawks that did the most damage. Alex Cabrera was the star of the show with a two-run single in the first off Hiroshima starter Bryan Bullington as part of a three-run first inning.

Giancarlo Alvaredo also gave up a run in the 3rd inning, the first of his two innings of work. Once again, the Hawks scratched out a run thanks to Matsuda, who drove it in this time instead of scoring it himself. The bullpen made the leads hold up.
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